The Foundation Of A Successful Business

Siblings Balances Strengths and Weakness to Build A Strong Brand

lee monet, the name itself carries the strength, courage, honesty, and love of the women in our family. “Lee” is a family middle name passed down throughout the women in our family in various spellings. However, our grandmother, my youngest daughter, and myself are all “lee”. “monet” also the middle name of a family member means “descendent of the protector”. From the amazing women in my family to yours we wish you much love! | Rashana, Co-Founder

 

Believe it or not, but this business is fueled with compassion and support and run by siblings.  Brother and sister duo, Rashana and Undra Robinson teamed up to create a life-changing opportunity for themselves and others. I know what you’re thinking, because I went there… family and business don’t always mesh well together, however, the love and pure respect for each other, proves that family can create and build businesses together.

I am the older sibling.  He [Undra Robinson] was oversees… he works for the government – we both do, but he works in government.  I was on baby number two and my thought process was, I was just… my government job had just ended so I decided to go to school working on my masters for business thinking I was going to go further down into my previous… my background is finance.

As I was sitting there getting big and pregnant and wasn’t able to shop like I used to, I was like well what’s the one thing I can continue to do while being pregnant is that I can sit. I’m shopping getting shoes left and right and still dealing with some things. I moved up here with my first job… moved to Virginia from Georgia.  I moved up here… I owned a house, had a car, had a good job and then everything just kind of hit rock bottom. I found myself in a struggle… in a depression. When I came up to Virginia and started being with my family was realizing that what man meant for evil, God meant for good. So I was like what can I take from this. I went through all this while looking at shoes. I have a testimony.

Originally it started out was, “Yet Not Broken.” While he was oversees he knew what I was going through.  Now on my second child and things not adding up or working out for me, but I continued to persevere through all of this and this is what I wanted to get out to women.  You know, I’m going through a struggle, but I can continue to progress, I don’t have to stay where I am. I wanted that to be something for my children. He’s my children’s God parents and so he’s always been supportive.  He’s more the finance person.  He understands what needs to be done and when I ready to rip and run and do all kinds of creative stuff, he’s the one that’s… ‘well does this fit the budget… is this going to put out the right image?’ We work well together. We balance each other. We can talk to each other.

I love how Rashana and Undra play off each other’s strong suits and use the skills they have to allow their business to thrive.  The other cool part that stuck out to me is how the online boutique is not just a clothing store… it has purpose and is a platform to help other women. Phenomenal!

Mission: Our mission is to provide quality apparel and superior customer service. | Lee Monet.com

One of the things I did, when we first started the business was shop in a lot of boutiques. I liked what I was finding as far as the variety… it wasn’t limited to where you could go, it was limited as in… everybody carried the same thing.  I looked at that and I said, well if everybody is doing the ruffle top or the tulip dress… now I’m looking at that and saying… well I like that, but I’m not going to use that color… and I’m going to get it in the asymmetrical style. I don’t want to have what everybody has. In addition to that, I’m all about customer service. When I go into a store I want to be treated a certain way.  I know that if I don’t like what I have, I can return it or I can exchange it or get my money out.  I noticed with other boutiques, you couldn’t do that.  You couldn’t just return it or if you returned it you could only do an exchange.  And I said, that to me wasn’t customer service… that’s not taking it all the way.  For us, if you don’t like what you have, I would go ahead and extend an offer to replace with something else, but if you choose you don’t want to replace it with something else. I have no problems with that… you can get your money back. There’s no attitude or anything like that.

With it being an online business, people don’t really know you.  They can’t walk in and get your vibe and the feeling of who you are.  I like to go ahead and make sure that I reach out and respond and give you the same kind of service you would expect walking into EXPRESS. It builds more of a trust.

This is refreshing! Online businesses are popping up every second and many of them are literally scams.  Customers may spend money on products or even services and never receive what they purchased. So trust… building that trust and respect from your customers is vital in the success of any business… especially an online business.  Oh and customer service! If you don’t have quality customer service, you better believe I’m not returning and neither will previous customers.

 

 

To take it a step further, Rashana has taking every avenue to test the quality of the clothing received from wholesale.  Not all of their products are wholesale, in fact, lee monet also has original pieces their customers may enjoy.

Because I come from a background of photography and graphic arts… I have taken photos, images, and drawings and have had them printed out… so we do have stuff that is specifically designed for Lee Monet.  

Sometimes I toy around about having a physical location.  It’s good to have both. I think there’s room for both and if you can do both, that’s great.

I don’t see a limit… we’re extending the shoe option and looking at adding accessories. We’re looking at adding children’s clothes and men’s clothes.  I think more so with the men’s line, we’re going to cover the actual printing and designing ourselves.  We have an artist who wants to design some things as well.  I just really want to expand and grow.

The biggest misconception about starting a business or an online business is easy and a quick dollar.  You must do your research… you must test your products before committing to sell.  Do your homework! It takes time building a brand… well… a brand that will last.

When we first started out we hired someone… their sense of urgency didn’t always match our sense of urgency so the website we said it would launch at one time… it didn’t and we had to keep pushing it back. When you first come into an online business… it’s crazy because I see so many people talk about ‘Oh, I’ll just start one. It’s just so easy.’ It’s really not. Like you just don’t know, first of all, if you’re legitimate, you’re applying for business licenses, making sure you’ve got a registered agent, and then you’re looking at the fact that, where do I get these clothes from… that’s one thing.  Nobody ever told me when you get the clothes from. When I’m looking and Googling and trying to figure out where you shop from, I end up looking in… purchasing from China.

 

 

 

You’re ordering stuff. It’s coming from way overseas and you don’t really know anything about the company and I’m looking at reviews, and the reviews are saying everything is wonderful, but then you get the stuff and it’s not the stuff you ordered… missing half of what you ordered.

It was rough starting out because we did get a lot of stuff that was a little on the flimsy side and I was like, we can’t sell this stuff. When you finally do find wholesalers that are local or domestic, then you have stuff that looks like what everybody has. It was rough. Until I actually took the time to go and purchased a vendor list.  It’s like a secret society.

We put out so much money in the beginning. Another thing we didn’t know what we were doing so we have all this product and no marketing. If no one knows you’re there, how are people going to buy?

Lessons learned, Rashana and Undra stepped up their marketing, public relations and advertising. Rashana admitted that one of the mistakes they made was rushing into things before truly building the foundation, learning the “ABC’s first” before diving in headfirst.

As Rashana and Undra continue crushing the stigma of mixing family and business, Lee Monet’s success grows. This is one amazing online boutique with the latest fashion and phenomenal support for women.

Support. Shop. Share!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien